Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Travel is highly educational, Sir." "I cannot do with any more education, Jeeves. I was full up years ago!"

Kind of a sleepy Sunday.  Really, really cold here (like, 50ยบ F cold) so I’m off to buy a sweatshirt and some thermal leggings. 

Wish I hadn’t left all my winter stuff at home.  D:

On the plus side, my clothes are fitting a lot looser now!  I’m guessing I lost about 3-5 pounds already, just walking around—the hills are killer, and I’m walking around for at least 3 hours a day, if not more. (That, and I’m only eating 2-3 meals a day—shut up, I see that look on your face, I’m trying to save money, and I haven’t really been that hungry, so.  There.)

Oh, oh!  And a job!  I have one!  It’s very exciting.  The whole transportation side of it, not so much.  But I get to spend a day in Christchurch, which is a plus.

If it only weren’t so bloody cold!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"So you're a magician?" "You could call me that, but if I reach behind your ear, it will not be a quarter I pull out, BUT YOUR VERY SOUL!"

Sooooo…yesterday was pretty sweet.  I wandered down what locals call K-road, which is apparently, like, what passes for the red-light district in Auckland (whatever, Kiwis—you’re practically PG compared to NYC.  Or DC) and down another street, and ended up in the West Park.  It’s this gorgeous hilly forest where dogs run around playing and hardcore joggers pant up and down the tracks, and it’s green and perfect and like a secret, and I just.

I love it.  To pieces. <3

It doesn’t hurt that I made a friend there—a guy whom I shall refer to as Mr. T (though he’s, like, the complete inverse of the real one). He’s a student at Auckland U, a native, and so in-the-know about the city..!  We spent about six hours just walking around and talking, and:
  • He bought me a beer.  A delicious, Australian beer.  Me and my light-weight self were pretty happy about this development.
  • We sat in this renovated overpass-building thing and chatted about life.  And old buildings.  And sea gulls.
  • We walked around K-road (and he attempted to apologize for what he called the “shady stores” and I laughed in his face.  Their level of sketchiness was comparable to, like, JC Penney’s magazines under a 13-year-old’s bed.)
  • We saw Thai joint called Joy Bong.  I do not lie. (And I did not giggle like a 7th grader, no sir.)
  • We ate at this awesome Korean restaurant—I had bibimbop!—and mused about the popularity of boybands.  Then he paid, AGAIN, and walked away while I was trying to figure out this stupid currency to pay him back. (Note to self: Owe Mr. T lunch.)
  • We walked down Queens Street and saw the Diwali preparations going up. Festival of Lights! Indian food! Fresh chrysanthemums! Yay!
  • We wandered around Borders (and giggled at this scraggly old man completely absorbed in a book in the romance section) and drank a cup of tea and chatted some more. 
  • AND RUFUS WAINWRIGHT IS PLAYING AT THE CIVIC HERE ON SUNDAY. I THINK IT’S A MORAL IMPERATIVE I GET TICKETS. (I mean, I’ve only seen him once and I love him and it’s, like, fate that I got here when he was here. Seriously, what are the odds?)
  • And then some random stranger came up to Mr. T on the street and gave him a free ticket to see Leonard Cohen. Which he then tried to pass off on me, and I was like, hell no, you’ve bought me dinner and a beer and now you’re trying to give me more things? NO. 
  • And then he walked me home. :D
Chivalry isn’t dead!!

And now to continue the trend and make another friend!

Extra random conversation of the day:

Weird magician dude: Over here, German girl, would you like to see some magic?
Me: (Uh, what?)  No, thank you!
Weird magician dude:  No?  Ah, yes, I’m sober now, she says.  Your hands are in your pockets, too, I didn’t notice.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency..."

Breakfast was sub-par, but coffee was excellent.  I think I was meant to live European-style.  They’re the only ones who make their coffee as I like it—strong and bitter enough to make you grow chest hair. :D

I’m a little embarrassed, but I slept for 13 hours last night.  Didn’t even eat dinner, just curled up in bed and conked out.  Feeling pretty good today, though!

Got to the library (and what a place! Free wifi! Books! Cute Kiwi boys!) in time to use the internet before everyone snatched up the bandwidth, and am looking at job ads online.  Some really good ones right now—very exciting!

Later I’m going to pick up a pre-paid phone and deposit some money in my new checking account.  Maybe go see about a tax number.  Definitely going to hit up the Museum and see if they’re hiring or want some free labor or something.  (Maybe I should make up a “Will do museum work for free” sign). :DD

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"Culture? What's that?"

So I’m here.  In Auckland.

…It’s gray.  And humid.  And all the hills remind me of the Texas hill country, but greener.

But the architecture is like this mesh of Asian and European, and the cross-walks have these Nintendo sounds to make you cross the street (yes, like Frogger), and you absolutely have to look in both ways before you cross the street.  Because the drivers are INSANE and will MOW YOU DOWN.

The cognitive dissonance is staggering, and I’m pretty sure being so tired isn’t helping.

That being said, I’ve already found myself assimilating: I have consistently said “fri-tah-tah” instead of “fri-ta-ta”.  Go me!

Other things I’m not doing so well on: mistakenly hearing $300 instead of $30, saying stupid things, putting my stuff in the completely wrong room AND MAKING THE BED then having to go back and take them off, getting over jet lag, saying more stupid things, making friends with my Taiwanese roommate.

Taiwanese roommate is sweet as can be, loves cute things (just like I do!), and has a Moroccan boyfriend that she met in a casino.  She has also apparently decided to take me under her wing, because she was here alone for two weeks and hated it and doesn’t want me to go through the same thing.

Language barriers aren’t helping, though I keep telling myself it’s good experience.  “You’re putting all those intercultural communications classes to good use!” (Though, really, I think what helps the most is that we both want to make friends.)

Good things today: free upgrade to 2-bed room, cute boys that I’ve been flirting with—

Okay, tangent time, but, but, is it, like, a moral imperative that the boys in NZ be ten times hotter than the ones in the states?  Because I have yet to see one that isn’t aesthetically pleasing.

Seriously.  I sat and made goo-goo eyes at some cute Kiwi boy sitting across from me in LAX last night for about 3 hours.  And he made them right back (though, honestly, it could have been that he fell asleep with his eyes open).

Okay, more good things: opened a bank account, am making friends, flirting with more cute boys, and I GET TO SLEEP IN A BED TONIGHT. 


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"His dense molecular structure will make him strong."

6 hours before lift-off.  My brain has been fried since, like, two days ago:

Mom: Not a quadruple bypass, but a quintuple!
Me: Holy shit, how much is that?
Mom: ...5.  (My daughter, the Greek minor).

Then today:

Me: The doors still locked?
Mom:  Nooo...I'm in the waiting room. (My daughter, college graduate--and yet to learn how to open a door). 

Whatever, I'm stressed, I'm tired, and I just.  Don't have time for intelligence. 

Kiwi-land, here I come!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

"From now on, I'm Professor...Incorrigible! ...Professor Inscrutable? Professor Indomitable. Professor Indo-China!"


So I'm sure both my blog name and web address are completely baffling, so here's a little story to celebrate new beginnings and all that:

There once was a little girl who liked to swim in piles of autumn leaves and eat guacamole and play in the mud.  One day, when her family was visiting for Christmas, her uncle saw her playing by herself.  He asked her what she was doing, and she responded, "Making stew-pot-tea," and offered him a taste.

He declined.

But the story lived on, shared frequently amongst her relatives, until she grew to be an adult--at which point the story made it back to her (who only had memories of making mud pies with twigs and juniper berries, and never this stew-pot-tea business).  She was embarrassed, and slightly proud of her creative faculties at 4-or-5-or-6, and therewith created this blog.

Seriously, it's such a bizarre combination of nouns, I doubt anyone would forget it.  Thus:

TADA! Have a picture (that made me laugh like the nerd I am):

funny puns-Transformers

PS--this blog is intended for travel purposes, not reminiscing about childhood memories, but if it slips in here and there, so be it.  Cheers!